Vague ramblings

The man who will never be able to forget

Posted in Life by Ian Cundell on 28 November, 2014

On a Saturday afternoon, many years ago, I was in my then employer’s office as part of the team implementing a big reorganisation.

One of the workmen took it upon himself to prop open a third floor sash window with a waste paper bin. You should understand that this was no picked-up-at-Homebase bin, but £90s worth of solid polished steel, weighing at least a kilo. I went out to find some food and, as I reached the entrance, the bin crashed to the pavement about three feet in front of me.

I blew my top at the workmen and it quickly became clear that none of them had any appreciation that, had this bin hit my head, it would certainly have killed me – much less of the wider impact on my family, my girlfriend, on everything that I’ve done since, nor that it could have been any passer-by.

Sean Abbott does not have that luxury. He knows.

From all accounts Phillip Hughes was a thoroughly decent chap, as comfortable talking farming with the Worcestershire locals as playing cricket for the County. He was also, of course, a swashbuckling pro in the finest Aussie tradition. We understand the grief of loss, whether it is in terms of the “five stages”, or simply the numbing pain of having been there. We know that – eventually – the family, friends and colleagues of Hughes will be able to pick themselves up and continue in life.

But what of Sean Abbott, who did nothing more than deliver a ball similar to the unnumbered thousands sent down the track each season, by the fast bowlers of the world? How on Earth do you move on from, entirely without intent or malice, ending a life?

I simply cannot comprehend how he will be able pick up a cricket ball again, how he could start his run up and not relive the moment time and time again. His team mates and Cricket Australia will surely offer all the help and support then can. But if he is ever able to continue then it will speak to a quite extraordinary strength of character.

And I find myself hoping, with more fervour than might be expected, that he does just that. Cricket fans around the world would rise to salute him – they are a fair-minded lot and understand that Abbott is blameless.

But quite how he could do it eludes me.

As we ponder the fragility of life, and quite properly salute Phillip Hughes, spare a thought for the 22-year-old who will never be able to forget.

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